Newsletter Commissioner for Human Rights in Poland 22-28 August 2017

Newsletter 22-28 August 2017


Who is suffering the consequences of the entry into force of the Act on retirement benefits for persons serving in the state uniformed services and intelligence services under the former political system? A story of a Warsaw uprising insurgent became famous after his complaint was forwarded to the Commissioner

- I am 95 years old, and I am one of the last living Warsaw uprising insurgents. At the end of my life, despite my blood shed for Poland and despite my professional and social work I face the risk of being covered by the provisions of the act. It feels like a slap on the face - wrote the man in a letter of complaint which he forwarded to the CHR. He is afraid he may lose his sickness pension because he worked as a doctor in a clinic run by the former Ministry of Internal Affairs. The ministry’s clinics are not covered by the regulations. However, as everyone knows, some of their doctors took part in officer training, and the act covers such officers. The letter is one of over one thousand similar letters received by the Commissioner. The act refers to whole groups of people and leaves no space for analysing individual cases. The Minister of the Interior may only decide whether, in specific cases, the benefits should be cut or not [more].

After the disastrous storm in the region of Pomorze, the CHR is gathering information on the efficiency of the alert systems, on where and by whom assistance was provided, and on what can still be done to help the victims

The Regional Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights in Gdańsk is currently analysing two cases: the tragic damage of the scout camp in Suszek (in the Pomorskie voivodeship) where the storm killed two girl scouts and injured several dozen people, and the scope of assistance provided to the victims of the storm that took place in the region of Kaszuby and Bory Tucholskie forests [more].

On 7 September, an information meeting on loans in Swiss francs will be held in Kraków [meeting details, a guidebook for the borrowers, and the meeting registration form].


Why didn’t the emergency services warn the residents about the possible contamination during the phosphorous fire in Chorzów?  [more].  The Commissioner also intervened with regard to the high concentration of benzene in the town of Kędzierzyn-Koźle [more].

The case of Mr Grzegorz, considered by the Constitutional Tribunal: why do regulations require the disclosure of the cause of disability in medical certificates?

The CHR has joined the Constitutional Tribunal’s proceeding initiated by a constitutional complaint filed by Mr Grzegorz. In 2015, the man was issued a disability certificate which contained the O2-P code representing mental illness. Mr Grzegorz believes that the code’s indication in the certificate is stigmatizing. According to the CHR, the use of such codes may violate people’s right to privacy [more].

Appeal against matriculation examination results, and its impact on university admission

In cases of mistakes in test scoring by the examination boards, secondary school graduates have problems with timely submission of their matriculation certificates for the purpose of the university recruitment process. This happens when a person’s test was wrongly scored but later, as a result of his/her appeal, the score was changed and the person passed the examination (exceeded the 30% threshold). The CHR requested the Minister of Science and Higher Education to look into the issue [more].

On what grounds may the National Health Fund collect and process sensitive personal data of patients who take part in drug programmes? The CHR’s intervention to the Head of National Health Fund [more].

What procedure should be followed when a supervisor of a master’s thesis dies before the thesis presentation by the student to the examination board? The Ministry has replied to the CHR’s intervention with regard to the issue [more].

The CHR’s intervention to the Minister of Science and Higher Education regarding the incorrectness of the procedure of awarding the degree of habilitated doctor. There exist divergences in the legal interpretation of the effects of withdrawing the application for initiating the procedure, and of a request for discontinuation of the procedure [more].


Should a partially incapacitated spouse be considered as having legal capacity in divorce proceedings? The CHR has joined the proceeding before the Supreme Court [more].

A continuation of the dispute about the use of the zero VAT rate for services relating to the protection of the marine environment: the case is going to be heard by the Supreme Administrative Court’s chamber sitting in extended composition [more].

The Supreme Court has answered the CHR’s question of law regarding the expiry of the period of perpetual usufruct of real property. The court has adjudicated that the expiry of the period of perpetual usufruct of land does not result in the expiry of a separate ownership title to rooms or premises in a building located within that land [more].


Deputy CHR Stanisław Trociuk took part in a debate on the reform of the system of justice [more]